"Harley-Davidson Screamin’ Eagle Factory rider Kenny Coolbeth finished fourth in the opening round of the Grand National Twins portion of the 2011 AMA Pro Harley-Davidson Insurance Flat Track Championship on the Springfield Mile at the Illinois State Fairgrounds. The race was won by RogersLake/ Blue Springs Harley-Davidson rider Jared Mees on a Harley-Davidson XR750.
Springfield was delayed until late Sunday afternoon to allow the track to dry following heavy rain on Saturday. Coolbeth placed second in a heat race to qualify for the 25-lap main. A lead pack that included Mees, Kings Kustoms rider Sammy Halbert, Brad Baker on the Lloyd Brothers Motorsports Ducati, Zanotti Racing/Schaeffer’s Harley-Davidson rider Jake Johnson, and Chris Carr on the AMA Harley-Davidson . . . "
All of the competing Harley riders were on XR750s, one of the company's all time most exciting, successful motorcycles. In fact, other than some Buell models, I don't know if HD even exists in racing outside of drag racing in very restricted classes. The deal is American Machinery and Foundry (AMF) bought Harley Davidson in 1969 and sold the company in 1981 and the XR750 race bike was produced from 1970 to 1985. That means that AMF was responsible for the only successful Harley Davidson race bike ever and that motorcycle continues to be successful against far more modern motorcycles (in its limited class). You'd think, if Harley's engineering and production capability had improved dramatically since Beals and Davidson bought the company, they'd have managed a new race bike by now. Wouldn't you?